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3 people missing, hundreds of homes destroyed in Colorado fire | News

The official said the three missing people were living in homes consumed by wind-blown city fires.

Three people are missing and dead after a wind-blown fire swept through two towns in the U.S. state of Colorado, causing thousands of evacuations and nearly 1,000 homes destroyed.

Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said Saturday that three of the missing people, who did not want to be identified, were all living in homes that were consumed by fire.

“The structures that these people would be in are completely destroyed,” Pell said in a news release.

Officials initially said there were no reports of dead or missing residents as a result of a rare city fire outside the metropolitan area of ​​Denver on Thursday morning.

Wind gusts of more than 100,000 miles (160 km / h) pushed the flames eastward to Superior and Louisville, and evacuated both communities.

In about two hours, the fire burned 6,000 acres, authorities said.

Pell said the body of corpses will open on Sunday to search for the missing. But the task is hampered by the wreckage of 8-inch (20-centimeter) snow-covered structures that were thrown into the night by a storm, he said.

A firefighter from the Timberline Fire Protection District pours water into a snow-covered home on January 1, 2022, in Boulder County, Colorado, in the Rock Creek neighborhood of Rockhall, which is still burning. [Jason Connolly / AFP]

At least seven people were injured in the blaze.

Pell also said that 991 homes in Superior, Louisville, and parts of the county have been destroyed, and it has become the most devastating fire in the state’s history in terms of lost homes.

Officials initially said the sparks from the overturned power lines sparked the fire, but an inspection by service company Xcel Energy found no damaged or fallen lines near the source of the fire.

Pell said detectives are investigating all avenues to find out what started the fire.

Following a tip, the sheriff said a search warrant had been issued in connection with the investigation, but declined to provide details.

U.S. President Joe Biden described the scene as a national disaster and released federal funds to help rehabilitate affected individuals and businesses, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said in a statement.

On Saturday in Boulder County, snow and single-digit temperatures provided a terrifying scene among the remains of homes that are still burning. The smell of smoke continued to run through the empty streets to restore electricity and gas service to homes that survived.

Dozens of people lined up to get the heaters, bottled water and blankets provided at the Red Cross shelters.

“It simply came to our notice then. And not our neighbors, ”said Judy Givens, a Louisville resident who took a heater with her husband. “We thought 2022 could be better. And then we had omicron. And now we have this, and it hasn’t started very well.”

The houses were set on fire during a development near Rock Creek Village on Thursday, December 30, 2021, near Broomfield, Colorado. [David Zalubowski/ AP]

Others walked through the snow to determine the condition of their homes and take things in stride.

Viliam Klein was upset when she saw the remains of 100-year-old Superior’s house on Saturday. Smoke rose from the snow-covered ashes; some of the neighbors passed by, taking what they could from the destroyed houses.

“Right now, I’m honestly overwhelmed and I can’t feel it anymore,” Klein said.

The fire broke out unusually late, after a very dry autumn and in the middle of an almost snowless winter, until it snowed at night. High winds pushed dry bones and flames that fed vegetation into agricultural lands and open areas interspersed with suburban subdivisions.

Scientists say climate change is making the weather more extreme and forest fires more frequent and destructive.

90 percent of Boulder County’s drought is severe or extreme, and it hasn’t seen much rainfall since mid-summer. Denver set a consecutive snow-free day before a small storm on Dec. 10, the last snowfall before the fire started.

“It hasn’t snowed in the whole winter of 2021. It’s no surprise that it’s going up like this,” Klein said.

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